Kevin Nash recently showed us why WCW was unsuccessful during his time there, why TNA has been unsuccessful during his time there and why he gets such a bad wrap when it comes to the backstage reports. Kevin Nash recently discussed the “WWE’s Youth movement” and how it is not a good move for WWE to be doing right now. His reasons were because the wrestlers WWE is pushing right now (Sheamus, Wade Barrett, The Miz etc.) have never drawn any money in his opinion.
Nash’s statements came off as someone who is extremely out of touch with the evolution of professional wrestling and the entertainment of the sport. He came off as someone who is hell bent on continuing to collect a huge paycheck while holding back younger wrestlers that can make the product seem fresher and create new revenue for the company. It is a growth process of wrestling that we see in different fashions throughout the years.
Lets go back as early as 1993 where the WWE was exiting the Hogan era and entering “The Next Generation.” Hogan left the WWE to become a movie star and for bigger dollars at rival WCW. It left the WWE no choice but to find new stars to push and become the faces of the company.
Look at that list of names I just wrote for the 1993 youth movement and tell me at that time if any of those guys really drew money. No! Sure, some of them had big matches and even World Title reigns under their belt but they had accomplished not much in the WWE landscape which is why the WWE did what they could at that time to create these guys as bigger stars. As fate would have it all these names now are looked at as some of the most influential wrestlers of our time and the 1990s.
The same movement happened in late-1997 when the WWE went on to counter WCW programming by giving the viewers newer, edgier wrestlers and not jamming the old wrestlers that we have known & love down our throats like WCW did at that time. This was part of the “Attitude era” the same era that gave us “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Kane, Mankind, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho and Edge just to name a few.
When the “Attitude Era” started most of these guys were unknowns or were “rejects” in other wrestling companies before coming to the WWE. They, like “the New Generation” era of the WWE didn’t draw money at first but would later go on to shatter revenue dollar records. It was the continuation of an evolution of the business. The time period for that time in wrestling called for action similar to this and the WWE responded.
Finally in 2004 we saw another chapter of wrestling revolutionize into the most recent of youth movements in the WWE up until the one we are seeing in 2010. That specific era can be looked back at as the “Ruthless Aggression” era of the WWE. Another time in the WWE where business was down and new wrestlers needed to be developed.
The WWE would push three solid wrestlers for that specific time period in John Cena, Randy Orton and Batista. As the “Ruthless Aggression” era continued we would see other wrestlers such as Jeff Hardy and CM Punk join the ranks of the new blood rising to the top. But for the most part it was Cena, Orton and Batista that would receive the rocket ship treatment.
We are in that exact time period yet again as wrestling is in need of new stars as the older ones get older and the once newer stars (Cena, Orton etc.) are now the veterans of WWE programming. There jobs are now to push the younger stars and take them to their levels. We are in the midst of another youth movement in the WWE.
In 2010 we have seen guys like Sheamus, Wade Barrett, The Miz and Jack Swagger (in his case, for a period of time for right now) receive the elevator pushes to the top where they are poised to become the future of this company and carry the flag for the next chapter of the youth movement. It is just another chapter of an ongoing process of evolution of the wrestling world, something that the WWE clearly does the best due to their success and longevity in the business. But why is it veterans, such as Kevin Nash are against this new movement?
It simply comes down to fear that their spot in the wrestling world won’t be there anymore. That someday they will be looked passed just like other wrestlers and be fighting for their legacy. But with that being said don’t you want to add to your legacy the fact that you helped elevate someone to the next level of the wrestling world?
“Stone Cold” credits Bret Hart for elevating his game and giving us the character we see today. The Undertaker, Triple H and JBL were all responsible for making John Cena, Randy Orton and Batista believable wrestlers in the next era of the evolution. Currently Triple H and John Cena are being held responsible for making Sheamus & Wade Barrett credible new heels in the WWE.
Have these new youth movement wrestlers drawn money as the likes of Kevin Nash? No not right now, but over time they will. It’s just part of the continued growth process of the business and Kevin Nash should help aid it rather then blast it, because if it wasn’t for the “The New Generation” era of the WWE we would still remember Kevin Nash as “Oz” and “Vinnie Vegas” in WCW. You need to always remember where you came from before you became who you are today.
This is part of the reason why WCW failed with Nash there as the company never pushed newer superstars until it was too late. This is why TNA has failed the last 11 months because they pushed wrestlers we have seen on our television for a long time and already established instead of giving us something fresh. You need to get with the times rather then try to hold it back.
There is an old wrestling saying out there that says “you can’t fight the future.” You can either help it or get out of the way because eventually it will happen. The names we see getting established today will be stars that we talk about elevating the next crop of new wrestlers five years from now.
Embrace it Kevin Nash rather then sounding like the same wrestlers that didn’t think you deserved to be pushed when Diesel took off in the early 90s. The latest edition of the WWE Youth Movement is here, embrace the next generation!
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